AT WDRK :
THE NAVAJO AND HIS SHEEP PURSUE THE ELUSIVE GRASS
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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT DF THE INTERIOR
OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS • - WASHINGTON, D.C.
The Cover Photograph : In the dry lands Navajo forage is so scarce
that herds of sheep travel far for sustenance. Among the many conserva-
tion tasks on this vast arid land is that of bringing water to a parch-
ing soil, destroyed in part by the shortsightedness of man, and now in
process of slow restoration. Here we see, in typical Navajo summer fash-
ion, a family camped for the night in their endless trek for forage. To-
morrow, or perhaps the day after tomorrow, they will be on the move again.
They will move less often, and their sheep will be better fed, when con-
servation efforts will have made several blades of grass grow where none
IfHAfS AT WORK
CONTENTS OF THE ISSUE OF APRIL 1939
Volume VI Number 8
Editorial John Collier 1
To The Indian, Conservation Is A. Living
Thing Floyd W. LaRouche 6
In Papago Land . Erik W. Allstrom 13
The Month Of March Marked The 115th
Anniversary Of The Indian Office 15
Ten Degrees Below On Navajo River 16
In 1875 It seems Ladies In The Indian Serv-
ice Were Valued For Their Plainness 17
"The New Day For The Indians" 17
Red Shirt Table Development Philip S. Byrnes 18
Indian Basket Ball Team Wins I.D.R.A.
Indian Youths Paint Murals For San
Francisco Exposition 22
Secretory Ickes Views Indian Exhibit At Gold-
en Gate International Exposition 23
Interior Department Museum Attracts Many
Pueblo Art In The Modern Home 25
A Lawyer Looks At The American Indian, Past
And Present Samuel J . Flickinger 26
Washington Office Visitors 30
Conservation At Navajo Means More Than
Saving The Soil 33
Oldest American-Made Blanket On Display At
State Museum, University of Arizona 36
The Battle Against Tuberculosis Goes
Forward Dr . J . G . Townsend 37
Barter - Twentieth Century Version - At
Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico Ten Broeck Williamson 38
Indians Pey Income Taxes Too 39
From CCC-ID Reports 42
Floyd W. LaRouche
An Apache Woman Grinding Corn In The Ancient Manner
Fort Apache Agency, Arizona
ANews ShMl for INDIANS and the INDIAN SERVICE
VOLUME VI * APRIL I939 - NUMBER. 8
The sixth anniversary of CCC - and Indian CCC
By now, there are many Indians of the younger generation who take
CCC for granted. They do not remember how things were before.
I refer not only to the work opportunity: though the little wage,
the happy work, surely are precious things.
Rather, I refer to the work for one's own land - one's own tribe
and race. Work which saves the land - gives lasting life to the land - and
strengthens and gives lasting life to the tribe, the race.
Tnere used to be millions of people - almost everybody - who said,
"Indians won't work." Is there anybody who says that, now?
There used to be millions - almost everybody - who said, "The In-
dians are finished. They are finished as a race- Their younger generation
is cut loose from its people. The long enterprise of the white man - to
'liquidate' the Indian - is all but completed now."
They said that not long ago, but is there anyone who says it now?
Before too late, the white race changed its own purpose, saw its
new light in the natter of Indians. The government changed its policies.
And how the Indians responded to the chancel
Indian CCC, now six years old, is bone of the hone and flesh of the
flesh of the Indians' new achievement. There is no part of Indian country,
there are few functions of Indian life, where it has not made an indispensable
contribution. Truly, Indian CCC has been a creative force. "Sociogenic," to
use a highbrow word. Other factors have been no less essential, but none has
operated more universally than CCC.
Indians aboriginally were conservationists. Then they ceased to be
conservationists. Then they once more became conservationists- Now, Indians
are trail-blazers and banner-bearers in the nation-wide conservation movement
which aims to salvage and restore a damaged, even a desperately menaced, con-
.And Indian CCC has been, ia, indispensably a part of this rebirth of
The physical works accomplished through Indian CCC are all but as -
tronomical in their number. I do not cite the statistics here. They repre-
sent capital investment for the lasting future of great spaces of country, as
well as for the future of Indians- Economical capital investment, because of
the way Indian CCC is planned and managed and because of the way that Indians
But that , historically, is not the greater, the more moving fact.
The change of direction of Indian life, the spirit reborn, the purpose reborn,
the union of vision with the material earth - with the damaged and yet the
everlasting earth, its herbage, from grasses to forests, its creature life,
its waters, its soils - this is the grand fact- And in-woven with this fact
everywhere is Indian CCC Oar gratitude to President Roosevelt , to Secretary
Ickes, to Robert Fecnner, to Daniel Murphy, to Jay P. Kinney, and tc others
whom this is not the place to name'
In the same quiet way that she performed her office tasks, Marion 2.
Hall, Editor of "Indians At Work" since the fall of 1936, recently moved into
a new sphere of life. She is now Mrs. Howard Fisher of Hubbard Woods, Winnetka,
Illinois, the marriage having taken place February 11, 1939.
Her record as editor of this publication merits special recognition,
end all who were associated with her are eager to pay her tribute for her in-
tellectual gifts, her fine discipline and her capacity for the most difficult
and exhausting work.
Marion Hall, daughter of Dr. Percival Hall, President of Gallaudet
College, is a native Washingtonian, trained in the schools here and then at
Goucher College. Her first government service was with the Bureau of Standards;
then she went to the Tennessee Valley Authority, and then to the Office of In-
dian Affairs. It was while she was with the Bureau of Standards that she was
loaned to President Hoover's Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership,
where she served as secretary to an important committee of which Miss Pearl
Chase, of Santa Barbara, California, was chairman. Through that assignment,
which she executed with exceptional skill, she became known to the present
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and was appointed as one of his secretaries
in March 1934.
When Mary Heaton Vorse, on account of ill health, was forced suddenly
to give up her editorial duties, Marion Hall stopped the gap and did it so" well
that she continued in the work. She carried much other work beside. Her con-
nection, on a volunteer basis, with Indian affairs will be a continuing one. At
present, with Mr. Fisher, she is traveling among the Indians of Mexico.
Commissioner of Indian Affairs
TO TEE INDIAN , CONSERVATION IS A LIVING THIN G
In Six Years He Has Begun To Recapture
The Land That Was Slipping Away - And
More Important He Has Refashioned His
By Floyd W. LaRouche
Since the founding of the Indian Division of the Civilian Conserva-
tion Corps, almost six years ago, there have "been employed at various times,
approximately 77,000 Indians in 23 states. These Indians of all adult ages,
working for the most part on the land of their own reservations, have, besides
increasing their immediate incomes, accomplished tasks of conserving and re-
building their lands that will probably earn dividends for living Indians and
their descendants for many generations. A third accomplishment, and one which
the Government is only now beginning to tabulate in terms of actual statistics,
is the training of Indians for expert work in fields apart from Indian Service
Possibly when completed the record will indicate that of all the ac-
complishments of Indian CCC, the training of boys and men for skilled work in
many branches of industry, agriculture, road building and so forth, will have
been the most important of all. Meanwhile, other figures at hand tell some-
thing of the extent to which the Indians have remade the map of Indian country
and rebuilt their shattered earning power.
It was late in June 1933, that the Indian Division of the CCC actual-
ly began to function. The CCC was authorized in March and had been in opera-
tion for some weeks before the peculiar conditions surrounding the employment
of Indians could be sufficiently ironed out to permit the enrolling of the
first Indian. By June the money had been obtained and by June 23 the first In-
dian had been enrolled and put to work. Approximately $8,000 was spent in June
and by July 1, the machinery of organization was moving at an accelerated tempo
which from that day to this has never diminished and which at times, has been
increased almost to the breaking point to meet new and sudden demands.
But these things belong to history and the CCC-ID people have very
little time for the past. They are still too new and too much absorbed in the
present and in the future to dwell much on history. But most of them remember
that in 1933 economic and spiritual daylight was fading fast. And for no one
in the nation was the tragedy as deep and as stark as it was for the Indian -
he who had for years and years subsisted on the fringe of poverty. Then with
the whole country plunged into stagnation, the condition of the Indian can
scarcely be imagined. Of course, Indians had been living in a deepening twi-
light for many years. For them, the long policy of liquidation was on the
verge of closing out the last of their possessions. All but the poorest of
their lands had been taken away and the residue was getting poorer every day-
Overgrazed acres were beginning to break down, to blow away, and to wash away.
Timber lands, where they had been cut over and burnt over, lay pauperized- Over
and over again there had been repeated the tragic story of assets turned into
liquid cash, and the cash debauched. Indians, where they had been cajoled or
driven into relinquishing their heritage of land and tribal rights, were stranded
on the outskirts of the white world, which resented their poverty and their lack
of adjustment. This, very. brief ly, was the composite problem which the program
of Emergency Conservation Work was required to attack.
The Emergency Conservation A.ct , providing for the establishment of the
Civilian Conservation Corps, adopted a base pay of $30 a month, and quarters and
subsistence. In organizing a separate Indian division (officially called I2CW
at first) the general regulations were relaxed so as to permit Indians to work
out of their own homes if they so desired, or out of family camps and camps for
single men set up in the neighborhood of work projects. Work was limited to 20
days per month, at $1.50 per day, to keep within the cash allowance of the $30
per month authorized. A commutation of sixty cents a day was allowed for In-
dians who lived at home and subsisted themselves; thus raising the monthly pay
to $42- They now get $15 per month additional if they live at home, toother
change is that instead of limiting employment to 20 days per month, work is
now carried for five eight-hour days each week.
Encouraged by these arrangements, the Indian families and individuals
moved close to the job - and thus began a really amazing program of human re-
habilitation. Families that had been subsisting on a diet of boiled buckskin -
the Indian equivalent for hard times - began to feel the blood thicken in their
veins. In those first months, it was not uncommon for men to gain from five
to ei^it pounds within a short time'. Muscles hardened. Faces filled out.
Within the first year - 1933-34 - a monthly average of 10,000 Indians
were kept at work. At least 50,000 individuals benefited. It meant the differ-
ence between life and slow starvation.
In the space of six years, approximately 77,000 individual Indians
have been offered work for a greater or shorter period of time. Broken down
into localities, this record means that Indians have been employed in CCC in
the following states and in the following numbers:
Arizona 19 ,520 Nevada • 969
California 2,438 New Mexico 4,467
Colorado 496 New York 240
Florida 100 North Carolina 430
Idaho 1,038 North Dakota 2,606
Iowa 60 Oklahoma 21 ,354
Kansas 145 Oregon 2 , 767
Minnesota 2,535 South Dakota 4,554
Mississippi 129 Utah 746
Montana 5 ,067 Washington 3 ,830
Nebraska 706 Wisconsin 2,180
This much we get from a recapitulation of statistical facts- It is
by no means the whole human story of what the CCC has done for Indian morale,
for Indian betterment and for the Indian's spirit. To get that story one must
have lived at the very source of Indian life during the period of its deepest
despair and then on through the period of restoration. Facts and figures,
though abundant, are yet not completely adequate to tell the whole story.
Side by side with the facts of immediate economic improvement among
Indians is the record of the changes that have been made in the face of Indian
lands. Here again the facts are presented in terms of realistic records- Dif-
ficult as it is to avoid the impressionistic and humanistic presentation, it
is nevertheless true that the facts h without trimming, tell their own story.
On June 30, 1938 the record disclosed that Indian workers had built
over 7,000 miles of truck trails, 2,500 miles of firebreaks, 6,300 miles of
telephone lines, 2,250 miles of horse and stock trails, 8,700 miles of fences;
Indians have added to the water supply of ranges by developing 6,200 springs,
small reservoirs and water holes, digging 1,350 wells, with pumps, windmills
and pump-houses, building 1,064 impounding dams and large reservoirs; they have
improved their range lands by eliminating 275,255 head of useless stock, con-
structing 70,000 erosion control water -spreading structures, building 470 miles
of stock driveways, erecting 896 vehicle bridges and 51 stock bridges, build-
ing 152 corrals. Indian forest lands have, in addition to the improved trans-
portation facilities and fire hazard reduction, been given added protection
through construction of 49 houses for fire guards, erection of 74 lookout tow-
ers, maintaining over 250 crews of trained men on call at any hour of the day
or night for fire fighting.
From the very first, a policy of training Indians was adopted- The
training was not only in the skills of performing work and in learning to oper-
ate machines, but it was in leadership. At the beginning of the program the
supervisory personnel was largely non-Indian. By March 1934 there were 455 In-
dians to 385 non-Indians in supervisory positions- Since then, the Indian side
of the ledger has been steadily in excess of the non -Indian side. In other
words, Indians were taken as they were found, unskilled and largely unaccustomed
to work. The response was immediate and. it was much more ^ratifying than even
the friendliest expected- The Indians went to work. They learned how to mas-
ter skills, and today in the Indian country, it is not said so often that "the
Indian won't work." He is working.
The proof is the fact that Indians have gone on from CCC-ID work to
many other fields. They have transferred to regular positions in the Indian
Service; they have gone into commercial employment; and they have gone into
businesses for themselves. In all of this, their training has been reflected
in higher wages and salaries than they have been accustomed to receiving-
Now that six years have passed, there is no longer any doubt about
the gains that have come to Indians, and through Indians, to the whole of Amer-
ican life, through the medium of CCC- The Indians wanted a chance to prove the
things they could do with their hands and with their brains, and having had the
opportunity, they have used it well.
IN PAP AgQ LAND
By Erik W. Allstrom, Assistant Camp Supervisor, CCC-ID
Corn And Beans In One Of The Bolsa Projects.
(The Bolsa Is A Pocket Behind An Earth Dike
To Catch And Hold Water For Occasional Flood
Irrigation, When There Is Rainfall)
Not many years ago,
the Papago Indians of Southern
Arizona were one of the poorest
Indian groups living in North
America. These Indians were ap-
parently resigned to their pov-
erty . Their doorless and window-
less houses were made of long
sticks plastered with mud, or of
adobe bricks, with roofs of adobe
mud heaped to a crown over a
framework of mesquite branches.
For food they grew several vari-
eties of fine beans which they
had developed themselves and al-
so gathered the seeds of the
desert grasses. They obtained
sweets from the luscious, but
thorny, fruits of several cactus
plants. Until the white man came
their meat diet consisted mostly of rabbit, and such other wild life as they
could snare. Living as they did, in a region where the annual rainfall is not
over nine inches, they did their simple farming on widely scattered flood plains
where the occasional run-off of rainwater would soak up the soil sufficiently
for the maturing of their
beans and some native squash
In early times their cloth-
ing was pro Dab ly made of
primitive native cotton
cloth. Today, with limited
incomes, their dress is
still simple, but in harmony
with current styles-
The old life of
the Papagos was definitely
nomadic until after the res-
ervation was established in
1917. Each family had two
or three homes, where at
different times of the year,
they grazed their few scrawny
cattle. The house nearest
to the bean patch was con-
sidered the permanent home.
San Xavier Indian Enrollees Laying Concrete
Pipe For The Irrigation System Near End Of
The Papago Reservation
and the other pi aces might
be from ten to forty miles
away in different directions
Between these homes were
wheel tracks across the
desert - the tracks of ram-
shackle wagons pulled by
bony horses. For years the
only road of any consequence
was the highway between Tuc-
son and Ajo across the reser-
vation, maintained by the
state because it shortened
the distance between the two
places by more than forty
Today on the res-
ervation life is different-
A new life came into being
with the organization in
1933 of the CCC-ID- The Papagos began to rise very slowly from the dust of
their overgrazed, underwater ed desert lands. New life began to stir on the
more than four thousand square miles of eroding volcanic hills and dry flood
plains covered with cactus, mesquite and greasewood brush. Two or three hundred
Indian enrollees began work on projects for erosion control, soil conservation,
fire suppression, reduction of overgrazing, water control, conservation, and
bolsa irrigation. Work also began for the establishment of permanent villages
which would have an adequate road system connecting them with each other, with
the agency, and with the outside world. Now there are eleven day schools and
five parochial schools in scattered villages.
Grass Along The Upper Side Of A OCC-ID Dike
Built To Hold Water From Too Rapid Run-Off
After The Torrential Summer Rains.
In a few strategic locations, deep wells have been driven to water,
with giant windmills pumping the water into 50,000-gallon steel tanks which
connect with water troughs from which the cattle can drink during most of the
year. However, sometimes when there is no rain in a district, there may be no
grass for feed even though there is water in the tank and cattle die before
they can get from feed to water. More water needs to be developed, both on the
surface and in other deep wells. The typical rainstorm of the region is a short,
very hard rain, and in order to control this water, check dams, diversion dams,
and in some places contour brush dams, have been built. With these improve-
ments we expect to be able to increase the tillable areas and to reseed some
of the now overgrazed and barren flood plains.
A few graded truck trails have been built to connect principal vil-
lages so that men can be reached quickly in cases where help is needed to fight
grass and brush fires- Such truck trails also serve as arteries for the slowly
increasing flow of new social, educational and economic life into the communities-
Some new and better homes are being built, some of native stone and concrete;
more of good adobe- Health conditions are slowly improving because of new know-
ledge, better food and easier access to medical facilities.
What has teen accomplished is but a small beginning. Much land is
still overgrazed and the vegetative cover must somehow be restored. The water
supply is still sadly meager, and for farm and garden purposes can perhaps
never be made to serve for more than subsistence purposes for this tribe of
over six thousand people. The areas that can be farmed are small. Many experi-
ments in conservation must be attempted in order to discover how best to use and
improve the present land resources. Real uses must be found for desert plants.
There must be experiments in human engineering; to aim at developing healthy,
decent community life in this desert country.
Much of this new life has been made possible because of the work op-
portunity offered by CCC-ID, which has made possible the dams, the truck trails,
the bolsa, and the wells. Through working on the various projects, many young
Papago men have become effective truck drivers and mechanics; they operate bull-
dozers and grading machines; they build dams with heavy caterpillar-driven ma-
chinery; they build masonry and concrete structures of many sorts; they also
work as foremen and clerks. In most of these cases the competent training came
directly from work they did and the instruction they received on the job.
New dams to hold irrigation water have made it possible for the Ex-
tension Division to give effective instruction in subsistence farming and gar-
dening. Properly located stock water tanks have helped to produce better cat-
tle and to make instruction in stock management more effective. The cash for
enrollee wages has meant money for personal and home betterment, resulting in
more and better food, new conveniences and better health. The quality of the
arts and crafts products made by the women has improved. The cattle and farm
products are very much better and greatly increased. The CCC-ID has been, and
still is an opportunity for the betterment of the Papago Indians. There is
still much to do.
THE MONTH OF MARCH MARKED THE 115th ANNIVERSARY OF THE INDIAN OFFICE
While March 11, 1939 marked the 115th anniversary of the Indian Of-
fice, the problem of Indian affairs goes back much further. It goes back, in
fact, to the very beginning of white colonization. Legislative cognizance of
the problem was taken when the United States, as a newly independent nation
was beginning to set up its rudimentary administrative machinery under the
presidency of George Washington.
When the War Department was created by Congress under the Act of
August 7, 1789, the duties assigned to it included those "relative to Indian
affairs." A Bureau of Indian Affairs was organized in the War Department on
March 11, 1824 with Thomas L. McKenny as its chief. By act of July 9, 1832,
there was created in the War Department the Office of Commissioner of Indian
Affairs. When the Department of the Interior was created by Act of March 3,
1643, the Bureau of Indian Affairs was transferred to it. The first Commis-
sioner .was Elbert Herring of New York.
TEN DEGREES BELOW ON NAVAJO RIVER
By The Jicarilla Apache Snrollees
Two old bridges on
the Navajo River caved in
last spring. They had stood
up for a number of years; in
fact , much longer than the
timber contractors expected
them to, when they built them
years ago. The CCC-ID was
called upon to rebuild these
Plans were made for
two, two-span truss bridges,
each 115 feet long, and sup-
ported by three concrete
piers. The CCC-ID employees
However, in a week or two, the
immediately set about to dig for foundations,
high water drove the enrollees out and the work had to be postponed until most
of the snow had melted and run off. When the water receded work was again tak
en up and the first structure was successfully completed this fall. All the
timber used in the making of this bridge was cut by the CCC-ID.
The piers of the second bridge got under way late in the fall; but
before we could run concrete, below-zero weather was upon us. The pits were ex-
cavated, forms set in, and power pumps were put into operation for removing the
water from inside the forms. On the morning that we were planning to run the
first pier it was found that a tremendous flow of ice had piled up against the
cofferdams and raised the water level in the river several feet. The water
poured into the pit so fast that the pumps could not handle it .
It now became evident that we had to use an entirely different method
for placing the concrete under six feet of water, or take a chance on losing
all the work done thus far. A meeting was held and it was agreed upon to make
a conduit, through which the concrete could be placed under water. A 12" x 12"
wooden pipe was made. The end of the pipe was placed within six inches of the
bottom and concrete was forced under the water in six one-inch layers until the
top of the water was reached, then concrete could be placed in the ordinary way.
When each pier was completed, the problem of keeping Jack Frost at a
respectable distance for several days was our next problem. The minute the
piers were completed, a frame structure was thrown around and over the piers.
This structure was covered completely with tenting so as to form a heat retain-
ing compartment. Next, oil barrels were made into oil stoves in which fires
were constantly kept burning for three days and four nights- Three shifts of
firemen were kept on the job during this time and all piers were successfully
completed. Hot water was used for concrete mix and some of the aggregate was
heated. The Apache boys were intensely interested in this work and they learned
much about concrete work during the process.
When the temperature went so low that it was impossible to work, the
Apaches built big bonfires and lectures were given and classes were held.
_IN 1875 IT SEEMS LADIES IN THE INDIAN SERVICE WERE VALUED FOR THEIR PLAINNESS
The following circular, addressed to "the female employees of Osage
Agency" at Pawhuska, Oklahoma and dated 1875, was recently discovered and trans-
mitted to the Indian Office by Miss LilliaJti Mathews, at present a member of the
Osage Indian Agency staff and a sister of John Joseph Mathews, a tribal council-
man. The order, as signed by Isaac Kiebson, U. S- Indian Agent, seems to re-
quire very little explanation. The text follows:
"While here you cannot avoid being regarded by the Osage
women and girls as examples for them in conduct, conversation and
"In view of that fact how modest and unaffected your con-
duct should be - conversation, pure and truthful - dress, comfortable
and tidy and clean - your hair neatly done up - avoiding excessive
and uncouth decorations of person, which their uncultivated tastes
leads them to admire. Useless jewelry - chignons - superfluous hat,
overskirt and dress trimmings - gaudy colored garments - corsets -
powder and paint for faces should be dispensed with and hereafter
avoided while in this Service.
"If the health or liberty of anyone is damaged by the ob-
servance of the foregoing, they are advised to seek employment else-
where . "
" THE NSW DAY FOR THE INDIANS "
So many hundreds of requests have poured in for copies of the recent-
ly published pamphlet about Indians that its authors and sponsors have been com-
pelled to make plans for printing an additional supply. Individuals and groups,
civic organizations, schools and many others have flooded the authors with re-
quests. Many Indian Service units have placed orders for large numbers of these
booklets, but the largest and perhaps the most surprising crder has come from
outside the Service. It is from the public schools of Denver, Colorado, who in
one request, have asked for 960 copies for use in the classrooms.
RED SHIRT TABLE DEVELOPMENT
By Philip S. Byrnes, CCC-ID Engineering Staff
Pine Ridge Agency, South Dakota
A Portion Of Red Shirt Table Development
As Viewed From The South
Red Shirt Table is
in a beautiful, scenic part
of the Pine Ridge Reservation
in South Dakota. From the
top of the plateau known as
the Red Shirt Table, a scene
of awe -inspiring beauty meets
the eye. There, stretching
away in the distance, can be
seen a beautiful formation
in the midst of the Badlands
area. It is impossible to
describe the beauty wrought
here by nature. The view
from the Red Shirt Table
Plateau is one of the most
beautiful seen from any of
our main highways. From this point, the foothills of the Black Hills with
its pines and blue haze can also be seen, and looking toward the horizon on
the north, one can see Mount Rushmore. Traveling down twelve miles farther,
we find the Red Shirt Table Development on the south side in a big bend of
the Cheyenne R iver .
In the early gold rush days of the Black Hills, so the story goes,
a wagon caravan coming West lost the main traveled route through Nebraska,
turned North and came through this territory. The hills were so steep and
roufh in places that at times it became necessary to take the wae-ons apart and
haul them piece by piece with ropes and reassemble them again so that they
might go on. Not all of these people reached their destination; some were
left behind as evidenced by markings of graves on rocks in the canyons.
After the Pine Ridge Reservation was set aside for the Sioux Indians,
a Sioux by the name of Red Shirt moved to that area where he lived alone for
some time. Gradually other friends and relatives came there to establish homes
until the group numbered about twelve families. The primary attraction of the
area to the early settlers was the good grazing and water for their livestock,
together with an abundance of good game hunting - deer, rabbits, grouse, and
The social activities of this little group consisted of games, sing-
ing and dancing. It is said that the health conditions of these people were
good. This fact remains true to a large degree today. One member remarked
that he felt this was due to their isolation in
a high altitude with an abundance of fresh air.
The original group was increased to
twenty-eight families. Through their ambition
they have tried to maintain self-sufficiency
with their meager subsistence, income and be-
longings. They have hoped that through some
source they would become self-sustaining, with
better homes, educational facilities for their
children, some livestock and better farm fa-
cilities so that they might enjoy the comforts
of a home. Today they are beginning to realize
a long-awaited hope for a brighter and happier
Until 1935 their livelihood was de-
rived mainly through the leasing of their lands
to white individual ranchers- The severe
drought at this time made it necessary for the
stockmen to remove their cattle from this area-
This left the people without any source of in-
come from their land.
In 1936 the people decided to organ-
ize as a community to establish some source of
livelihood. They organized a stock association
known as the Red Shirt Table Development Asso-
ciation. One of the chief objectives of this association was to regain the use
of their land. There are now nineteen members in the association. They began
with forty-one head of group-owned cattle, along with the few head of horses
and cattle which were privately-owned.
In 1937, they started a turkey enterprise, purchasing 600 turkey
poults through a government loan. With this enterprise hardships were encoun-
tered. About two days after the turkeys were brought home a hurricane swept
the locality and killed over 200, but their enthusiasm was not dampened.
Determined to continue with this enterprise, regardless of their loss,
they purchased 1,000 more poults in 1938. From this, 850 turkeys were raised
for market, bringing a profit of $500.00 to cover their previous losses.
There are approximately four townships in this district, which are
excellent for stock use in winter and summer grazing. The southern portion
of the district can be used for summer range. A.s winter approaches the stock
can be taken to the north end where there are hills and shelter for late fall,
and trees for winter protection along the river. .A3. so along the river and to
the north and east there are hay flats where an abundance of hay can be put up
for winter feed.
A Badland Scene 3n Route To
Red Shirt Table Development
In the plan of re-
habilitation, the river bot-
tom area has been reserved
for homes and gardens. In
the surveying and laying out
of the site for the new
buildings, the thought in
mind was to p3an for a town-
site, and not for just a
huddle of houses. There are
nine new homes neatly planned
from the standpoint of maxi-
mum room space and low cost
construction. They have
three conveniently planned
rooms with attractive wide
windows. There is also a new canning kitchen, dairy barn, new modern poultry
house, and a water system for the use of all the families. These have been
constructed with money obtained from the rehabilitation loan fund. Immediate-
ly west of the home sites, several lots have been reserved for the construction
of churches and other community centers .
The school building is a modern structure with a full basement. It
will be equipped with modern facilities for academic and classroom work, home
economics and extra-curricular activities. There is also an auditorium which
will be used by the community as a civic center, and for all general meetings,
as well as social activities.
The structure and development of
education of the children so that they may
able citizens. At present there are fifty
the flat. They are looking forward to the
new building which will provide more space
projects include home economics and sewing
and goat clubs for the boys .
this school will insure the future
become self-supporting and respect-
children attending the school on
time when they can move into the
for their school projects. These
clubs for the girls; turkey, calf
Within the approximate
two square miles of river bottom
reserved for homes there will be
about 135 acres of land favorable
for irrigation. The soil scientists
have made tests of the geological
formation and soil types of this
irrigation site, and have found
the soil favorable for producing
crops adapted to truck farming. The
water for irrigation will be pumped
from the Cheyenne River and alfalfa
will be planted on part-of the ir-
rigation plot which will be used
for winter feed for stock. Garden
One Of The Houses kl Red Shirt Table
plots will be laid and root cellars will be provided for storing. This far-
seeing program and development will insure a secure future for these people
from a social and economic standpoint. The future development of the Red Shirt
Table Community rests with the people, to work together and to cooperate with
INDIAN BASKET BALL TEAM WINS I .D.R.A. -CHAMPIONSHIP
The Indian Office basket ball team, composed of all -Indian members,
captured the Interior Department Recreational Association- championship on March
13 and 14, by defeating the P.W.A- quintet in successive games by the scores of
33 - 22 and 47-31- The team was composed of the following members, shown
Back row, left to right: Hardin (Winnebago); Ironteeth (Sioux); Greene
(Seneca); Cornelius (Oneida); Bennett (Oneida).
Front row: Walker (Modoc); Ray (Chickasaw); John Croke, coach; Massey
(Choctaw); Attahvich (Comanche).
INDIAN YOUTHS PAINT MURALS FOR SAN FRANCISCO EXPOSITION
Three young Indians - one a student tailor, another a carpenter's
helper, and a third, a shoemaker's apprentice, painted the murals for the gal-
lery of the Cornplanters of the Southwest, one of the eight halls depicting
Indian cultural groups in the presentation of the United States Office of In-
dian Affairs at the G-olden Gate International Exposition at San Francisco in
The oldest of the three - Joseph Duran, a Tewa Indian from Teeuque
Pueblo in New Mexico, and 24 years of age - some day hopes to earn his living
by making clothes. Joseph painted in strikingly vivid colors seven murals,
four of which were based on scenes from the annual Pueblo corn dance of the
summer season and three selected from the winter dance ceremony.
Ignacio Moquina, 18 years of age, graduated from the Indian Vocation-
al School in Santa. Fe , New Mexico a year ago after having completed courses in
shoemaking. His murals show three postures of his tribesmen in the crow dance,
an autumnal ceremony performed to frighten crows from the extensive Pueblo
A Hopi Indian, Charles Loloma, 18 years of age, executed three wall
paintings - an eagle, a buffalo and a corn Kachina, or messenger of the gods -
descending on Hopiland early in the year. Charles is a Junior in the Indian
high school at Phoenix, Arizona, where he is studying to become a carpenter.
Mural Of Buffalo Hunt By Calvin Larvie
( Note : This mural is situated in The Hall o*" the Hunters at the San Francisco
International Exposition and fills the main wall opposite the entrance to this
Hall. Mr. Larvie is a Sioux Indian- )
SECRETARY ICKES VIEWS INDIAN EXHIBIT AT GOLDEN GATE
INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION AT SAN FRANCISCO
"Encourage a man to use his own talents, show him the ways he can do
so, let him then attack his problem in his own fashion, and you will have made
a contribution to apod citizenship. That, in substance, is the course the Fed-
eral Government is pursuing with respect to its Indian population," said Harold
L- Ickes, Secretary of the Interior after he had seen a preview of the exhibit
of the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs at the Golden Gate International
"Until very recent years we have been leading the Indian by the hand,
whether along economic, social or political paths, postponing the day when he
might learn to stand on his own feet and, at the same time, encouraging him to
accept the false assumption that the Government would forever keep him in lead-
ing strings. We had already reached the point where protective paternalism was
bringing diminishing returns when the direction was changed abruptly by John
Collier, the present Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Some of the results of
this change of direction are suggested in our presentation here at the Exposi-
tion, notably in the field of Indian arts and crafts.
"We were convinced, when considering the advisability of participat-
ing in this Exposition, that the people of the United States had little, if any
knowledge of the beauty and utility of the things Indians made, to say nothing
of having any idea of his cultural heritage. Consider the Navajo rug. Where
else in the world can one purchase such a product? It is colorful, it wears -
almost literally - like iron; into its texture is woven a whole tradition of
fine workmanship and today it is protected by a trademark carrying the guarantee
of the United States Government. Similarly, hand-wrought silver, pottery, bas-
ketware, and other Indian-fabricated goods offer discriminating buyers a selec-
tion of superbly fashioned, unique and truly American articles.
"Two years ago Congress authorized the establishment of an Indian
Arts and Crafts Board whose purpose it would be to encourage the production of,
and to seek a wider market for genuine Indian goods. Our presentation at the
Exposition, under the direction of Rene d'Hornoncourt, General Manager of the
Arts and Crafts Board, will demonstrate the contribution being made by that
Board to the economic independence of thousands of Indians- From all parts of
the United States, including Alaska, there have been assembled at the Exposition
representative products of Indian art and craft - original, genuine, useful -
many of them strikingly beautiful in texture and design. Unless we are complete-
ly mistaken, thousands of visitors will carry away a new conception of the dig-
nity and the utility of Indian-made products, and this will bring closer the
economic stability of our Indian population.
"While we believe that our exhibits will unquestionably extend the
market for Indian-made goods, and thereby broaden the base of Indian income, we
have not stopped at arts and crafts in seeking, as speedily as possible, an
end to the need for Government aid or supervision. It would have been physical-
ly impossible to demonstrate at the Exposition the magnificent work that is be-
ing done in the field of Indian education and health, in soil conservation and
land utilization, in self-government, in credit and cooperative enterprises,
and in improvement in personnel. Recognizing the limitations of our exhibit
possibilities, we are emphasizing what has been done, and, more important, what
can be done in the arts and crafts field toward restoring the Indian to that
freedom and security which are no less significant elements of his heritage
than the skill of his craftsmanship."
INTERIOR DEPARTMENT MUSEUM ATTRACTS MANY VISITORS
More people than the entire population of a raedium-3ized city visited
the Exposition of Conservation in the Museum of the Department of the Interior
during the first year of its operation, Secretary Harold L. Ickes has been ad-
vised by Ned J. Burns, Chief of the Museum Division, National Park Service.
Since its doors were first opened on March 9, 1938, more than 120,000
men, women and children from all sections of the United States - and seme from
foreign lands - have viewed the unusual collection of spectacular dioramas, col-
orful pictures, out-of-the-ordinary specimens, and priceless historical docu-
ments assembled on the first floor of the New Interior Building in Washington,
Attendance records show that visitors from Liverpool, England; Shang-
hai, China; New Zealand, and Germany were among those inspecting the exhibits
which afford a graphical portrayal of the Department's work in promoting the
preservation of natural resources in the United States.
With the addition of a collection of carved ivory handicraft from
Alaska and a picturization of the field for development of recreational facil-
ities in state park areas, the exhibition presents a striking illustration of
the activities in the various agencies of the Department.
The Museum is open to the public free of charge each week day from
9 to 4:30, and until 1:00 on Saturdays, and special tours for groups of students
may be arranged upon application to J. Paul Hudson, Acting Curator of the Museum-
& o <&
PUEBLO ART IN TEE MODERN HOME
One Of The Exhibits At The Gallup Indian Ceremonial, August, 1936.
(Every object in this room was hand-made by Pueblo Indians)
In conformity with the government's program of stimulating interest
in authentic Indian-made goods, and in cooperation with the United Pueblos
Agency and those traders who are dealing with goods made in the Pueblo Area,
a unified exhibit at the Indian Inter -Tribal Ceremonial was held at Gallup,
New Mexico, last August. Its theme was the usefulness of Pueblo arts and
crafts in the modern home.
The center of this display was a model room, produced under the su-
pervision of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, and erected by the carpentry,
silversmi thing and weaving departments of the Indian schools and by the crafts-
men in the Pueblos .
This type of presentation of Indiau goods was designed to create a
new market for Indian products . Already many orders have been received from
private individuals for products of the same character as those displayed, and
certain museums and institutions have mads plans for similar presentations.
At the San Francisco International Exposition also, model rooms for
each cultural area will be exhibited, demonstrating adaptability and use in
modern settings of the accessories of each particular Indian group.
A LAWYER LOOKS AT THE AMERICAN INDIAN . PAST AND PRESENT
Note: The following speech was delivered by Samuel J. Flickinger, As-
sistant Chief Counsel, Office of Indian Affairs, on February 18, 1939, before
the members of the Order of Indian Wars of the United States, held at the Army
and Navy Club in Washington, D. C, on the occasion of their annual banquet.
This was the first time this essentially military group had ever entertained a
speaker from the Indian Service.
It has been estimated by some historians that at the time Columbus
discovered America there were approximately 350,000 Indians in the area which
is now the United States- Others have estimated that this number reached
900,000- At present, there are approximately 373,000 Indians within the United
States, including some 30,000 Indians and natives residing in Alaska. The lat-
ter figure constitutes about one-half of the total population of that territory.
The State of Oklahoma has far more Indians residing within its bound-
aries than any other state - approximately 96,000. Arizona ranks second in or-
der with about 46,000 Indians. Third in order is New Mexico with over 35,000.
The State of South Dakota is next in line with over 27,000 Indians
and California follows closely with approximately 24,000. The other five states
with over 10,000 Indians each, are Montana, Minnesota, Washington, Wisconsin and
Of the enrolled or registered Indians at some 250 reservations and
jurisdictions, over 60 per cent are full-bloods. The mixed-bloods consist of
less than 40 per cent of the total.
The Constitution of the United States vests in the Congress of the
United States the power, among other things, to regulate commerce with foreign
nations, and among the several states and with the Indian tribes . Among the
duties imposed upon the War Department when it was created on August 7, 1789,
was that of handling Indian affairs. Congress on July 9, 1832, specifically
created in the War Department, the Office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,
the holder of which was subject to the Secretary of War and the President of
the United States in the direction and management of all Indian affairs and of
all matters arising out of Indian relations.
At that time, due to the treatment meted out to the Indians by some
of the white pioneers, the Indian in general had come to mistrust most of the
whites in all of their actions and felt that the only way they could protect
themselves and their hunting grounds from the invading whites was by force.
This condition led to the belief that most of the Indians were savage and war-
like, and accordingly, it was necessary to use force at all times to protect
the white pioneers from the Indians residing within the territory the pioneers
were invading. It was natural, therefore, for Congress to continue the control
of Indian matters under the military department of the Government.
Congress by an Act of March 3, 1849, created the Department of the
Interior, to which the Bureau of Indian Affairs was transferred. By this Act
the control of Indian matters passed from the military to the civil branch of
the Government. Sections 441 and 463 of the Revised Statutes of the United
States provide that the Secretary of the Interior shall be charged with the
supervision of public business relating to the Indians and that the Commissioner
of Indian Affairs under his direction and agreeable to such regulations as the
President of the United States may prescribe, shall have the management of all
Indian affairs and all matters arising out of Indian relations-
Since the transfer to the civil authorities of the Federal Government
took place, innumerable acts of Congress have been passed until at the present
time the Indian Bureau finds itself meshed in a maze of laws, some of which are
Originally the Indians roamed over the vast territory embraced with-
in this country without restraint except as one tribe may have encroached upon
another. Rapidly increased population caused expansion over the entire area
of the country and resulted in restricting the areas over which the several
tribes of Indians roamed. Treaties were entered into with different Indian
tribes by representatives of the United States, many of which were ratified by
Congress wherein provisions were made defining specific reservations for the
particular tribe or tribes to reside upon. In many instances these treaty res-
ervations were subsequently reduced in size by further treaties or by acts of
Congress to meet the demands of the encroaching white race. Often the best
part of the Indian reservation was thus taken from the Indians in order to pro-
vide farming areas for the whites.
The right of occupancy of areas by Indian tribes was recognized in
a degree by the United States. The treaties in diminishing the areas over
which the Indians formerly roamed, and confining them to specific diminished
reservations, naturally created new problems. The reduced or diminished area
of a reservation to which a particular tribe or tribes of Indians were confined
under a treaty or act of Congress was known as the diminished reservation, while
the area formerly occupied by such tribe or tribes which was relinquished to the
United States by the Indians become known as the ceded reservation. Congress on
March 3, 1871 decreed that thereafter no more treaties would be entered into
with any Indian tribe-
The Indian reservations were held in common by all the members of the
particular tribe or tribes residing thereon. In some instances, treaties pro-
vided for the allotment of the lands embraced within the reservation to the in-
dividual members. Some of the treaties specifically provided that certain chief
or chiefs should have set aside for his or their use a particular number of acres
On February 8, 1887 Congress enacted what is known as the General Al-
lotment Act. This Act provided for the allotment of the lands of the reserva-
tions to the individual members and the issuance of patents to the Indians, which
recited that the United States would hold the lands so allotted to the individual
Indians in trust for a period of 25 years at which time a fee patent would be
issued to the allottees for their allotted lands, free of all encumbrances. This
Act was amended on several occasions to take care of needs which become apparent
as time went on. The original legislation provided that upon the issuance of
the original patent the Indians would become citizens of the United States. Sub-
sequently by amendment the right of citizenship was deferred until after the
fee patent had been issued. This change was due largely to a misunderstanding
as to the real legal significance. At that time it was the belief that ward-
ship and citizenship were incompatible. This theory, however, was exploded by
the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Brader v. James, reported
in 286 U. S. 88, wherein the Court held that the granting of citizenship to
the Indians was not inconsistent with the right of Congress to continue to ex-
ercise its authority restricting the alienation of lands by the Indians under
legislation adequate to that end. In the case of U. S. v. Noble 237 U. S. 74,
the Court said, "Guardianship of the United States continues notwithstanding
the citizenship conferred on the individual Indian allottees."
The Indians were not aliens and could not be naturalized under the
general naturalization laws dealing with the naturalization of aliens. They
could only become citizens of the United States by specific act of Congress.
That body by the Act of June 2, 1924 provided "That all non-citizened Indians
bom within the territorial limits of the United States be, and they are here-
by declared to be citizens of the United States; provided that the granting of
such citizenship shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right
of any Indian to tribal or other property." Thus it will be seen that all In-
dians born within the territorial limits of the United States are now citizens
of the United States.
While on this subject it may be well to point out that most of the
Indians have the right of suffrage in the particular state in which they reside.
Some states, however, such as Arizona and California prevent the Indians, who
are wards of the United States, from voting by providing that certain persons,
naming those under guardianship, are not eligible to vote. In the State of
Arizona the statutes specifically name Indians as being excluded. The consti-
tutionality of such legislation has not been determined definitely.
Under the General Allotment Act and amendments thereto, the reserva-
tions were divided into individual allotments, the Indian becoming a restricted
owner of that part of the reservation allotted to him.
The guardianship of the United States over the Indian has to do' large-
ly with the Indian's land or property or matters arising by reason of such prop-
erty. Title 25, U.S.C. Section 175 requires the United States attorneys within
the several states to represent the Indians in all suits and law and equity. This
law has been interpreted by the Department of Justice to apply principally to
cases involving or growing out of the Indian trust property. In recent years
that Department has been more liberal in its interpretation of this law and
has handled a greater variety of cases for, and on behalf of the Indians, look-
ing to and protecting their interests even when the action did not affect trust
or restricted property.
In the absence of Congressional enactment courts are without juris-
diction to try an alleged offense committed by one Indian against another on
his person or property within Indian country or an Indian reservation. The Su-
preme Court of the United States on December 17, 1883, in the case of Ex Parte
Crow Dog held that the First District Court of Dakota was without jurisdiction
to find or try the indictment against Crow Dog, a Sioux Indian, who had been
convicted by that Court for the murder of an Indian of the Brule Sioux Band;
that the conviction and sentence were void and the imprisonment illegal, became
as stated by the Court:
"To give to the clauses in the treaty of 1868 and the agreement
of 1877 effect, so as to uphold the jurisdiction exercised in this
case, would be to reverse in this instance the general policy of the
Government towards the Indians, as declared in many statutes and
treaties, and recognized in many decisions of this court, from the
beginning to the present time. To justify such a departure, in such
a case, requires a clear expression of the intention of Congress,
and that we have not been able to find." (Ex Parte Crow Dog, 109
U. S. 556-572.)
The decision in the Crow Dog case resulted in Congress enacting on
March 3, 1885 what is commonly referred to as the Seven Major Indian Crimes Act .
This legislation covered the crimes of murder, manslaughter, rape, assult with
intent to kill, arson, burglary and larceny. There was added to this list by
the Act of March 3, 1909, "assault with dangerous weapon" and by the Act of
June 28, 1932, incest and robbery were added- Any of these crimes, therefore,
committed by an Indian against another Indian or his property on an Indian Res-
ervation is subject to suit in the Federal courts-
In 1887 the total area of Indian land within their reservations was
approximately 137,000,000 acres. The General Allotment Act of 1887 was passed
in furtherance of the policy to break up Indian community land holdings by al-
loting them and creating individual property ownership, with the view of thus
absorbing the Indians into the general population. In most instances while the
carrying out of the policy changed the mode and method of living of the Indians
by making them individual land owners and attempting to make them agricultural-
ists, limited funds of the individual Indians and with very little and woefully
inadequate appropriations to aid them in accomplishing this change resulted
largely in failure of the purpose. No provision was made to provide credit to
those Indians who desired to progress and owing to the inability to pledge
their property as credit, outside credit was usually not available to them.
School, health, medical and dental aid, and other necessary assistance was
limited by insufficient appropriations by Congress with the result that the In-
dians in the main were unable to cope successfully with the changed conditions
in which they found themselves.
The death rate of the Indian was high. Many of the allotments made
to individual Indians were never utilized by the individuals themselves. Upon
the death of the allottee, in many instances, years lapsed before definite de-
termination of the ownership to the deceased allottee's land was made- The
State courts in some instances assumed to take jurisdiction in determining
heirs of deceased Indians. By the Act of June 25, 1910, Congress vested in
the Secretary of the Interior the exclusive power to ascertain and determine
the legal heirs of deceased Indians to their trust or restricted property. The
1910 A.ct was amended in 1913 by vesting in the Secretary the power to approve
Indian wills .
Many allotments after the death of the allottee and the death of suc-
cessive heirs passed into ownership of many individual Indian heirs. For ex-
ample, a 40-acre tract of land may have as many as 200 heirs making it virtually
impracticable to utilize the land. Each heir's share being exceedingly small,
many of the heirs will not bother with it, so often beneficial use of the land
is not made- This situation complicates exceedingly the administration of the
This complicated situation in the past, plus the desire of non-Indians
to acquire good farm land belonging to the Indians, resulted in the sale of many
of these allotments to non-Indians- This desire of the white man also resulted
in many instances, in the further extinguishment of the Indian title to his land.
After the allotments had been made, acts of Congress provided for the disposal
of the so-called surplus or unallotted Indian lands. The unallotted lands were
appraised and thrown open to entry to non-Indians at the appraised price, the
Indians receiving the value placed on the lands less cost of administration.
Through these several mediums, much of the large areas, approximating 137,000,000
acres of land, passed rapidly out of Indian ownership.
From 1887, the year in which the General Allotment Act was passed, up
to 1932, the average yearly diminution of Indian title in lands was 2,000,000
acres. In 1933 there remained 29,481,685 acres in tribal Indian ownership and
about 19,000,000 acres of Indian lands allotted to the individual Indians were
still in a trust status held by the United States for the individual Indian al-
lottees or their heirs, or a total approximating 49,000,000 acres. At this rate
of disposition of Indian lands only a few years separated the time when all In-
dians would be landless, and to think, at one time this entire country was theirs-
(Because of the length of this article, it was found necessary to divide the
text into two installments- The second installment will appear in an early
WASHINGTON OJTICE VISITORS
Recent visitors to the Washington Office have included the following:
Charles L. Berry, Superintendent, New York Agency, New York; Alida Bowler, Super-
intendent, Carson Agency, Nevada; Fred W. Boyd, Superintendent, Fort Belknap
Agency, Montana; Charles L. Ellis, Superintendent, Osage Agency, Oklahoma; E.
Reeseraan Fryer, Superintendent, Navajo Agency, Arizona; Charles L. Graves, Su-
perintendent, Blackfeet Agency, Montana; Theodore B. Hall, Superintendent, Sells
Other visitors have been J. L. Finley, Probate Attorney, Five Civi-
lized Tribes, Oklahoma, and Captain George M. Nyce, Regional Forester, Great
The visiting delegations and visitors were: Cheyenne River Agency
(South Dakota): Thomas Eagle Staff, Luke Gilbert, John Little Cloud and Daniel
Powell. Osage Agency (Oklahoma): John Abbot, Mr. and Mrs. Bascus, Louis Denoya,
Harry Kohpay, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Lookout, John Joseph Mathews, Edgar McCarthy,
Lee Pappan, Frank Quinton, Mr. and Mrs. William Pryor, Ed Simpson, David Ware,
and John Wagoshie. Sells Agency (Arizona): Pete Blaine, Martin Mar isto, and
n-~. ^. ; . '
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CONSERVATION AT NAVAJO MEANS MORE THAN SAVING THE SOIL
On Many Fronts The Battle Against The Ravages
Of Man's Mistakes Is Being Ceaselessly Waged.
Science Is Now Seeking To Produce A New Type
Of Sheep To Fit The Arid Wastes Of Navajoland.
(Photo by Harris & Ewing)
Navajo rugs, produced under laboratory experimental methods, using
wool of several varieties and processed in different ways, were recently brought
to Washington, D. C. from the Southwestern Range and Sheepbre'edmg Laboratory
on the Navajo Indian Reservation. These small rugs, each representing a partic-
ular combination of factors, were sewn together and placed in the cafeteria of
the Department of the Interior for experimental purposes as explained below.
The accompanying photograph shows one of these sa-mples being inspected by In-
dian Commissioner John Collier and two young Indians, Russell E. Prophet and
Bernice Bonga, employed in the Washington Office. On the extreme left is Mr.
A. C. Cooley, Indian Service Director of Extension, whose division is partici-
pating in the experimental work.
Navajo rugs of the future will owe a debt to the hurrying feet of the
thousands of Interior Department employees who eat their lunches in the cafe-
teria of the new Interior Building in Washington, D. C
On February 18, under the supervision of Oscar L. Chapman, Assistant
Secretary of the Interior and John Collier, Commissioner of Indian Affairs,
Navajo rugs were placed on the floors of the Interior Department cafeteria •
Dr. J. I. Hardie in charge of the wool laboratory at the -Beltsville, Maryland,
Experimental Station and Mr. A.. C. Cooley, Director of Extension and Industry
were the speakers for the occasion.
It is a far cry from the wind-swept semi-arid lands of the Navajo
Indians in Arizona and New Mexico to the Interior Office Building, but not too
far to prevent the Washington employees, during their lunch periods, from per-
forming a vital service to the Navajo Indiana. Sections of Navajo rugs, pro-
duced under varying conditions and containing wool of varying degrees of qual-
ity taken from animals of several types, have been placed on the floor of the
cafeteria where the traffic is heaviest. In this way, the experts who are
working to improve the quality of Navajo wool and Navajo rugs, believe they
can obtain the equivalent of years of hard wear in a much shorter space of time.
All this is only one smell part of a scientific enterprise designed
to establish a "Navajo sheep" whose output of wool and mutton will be so im-
proved in quantity and quality that its resultant effect on Navajo economy will
do much to offset the increasing depletion of the Navajo lands. And thereby
hangs a tale.
Experiments which may have a far-reaching effect on the entire wool
industry of the West are being carried on at the Southwestern Range and Sheep
Breeding Laboratory on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Here sheep breeders and
wool specialists are drawing on the latest devices in breeding and wool in-
vestigation to develop a wool suitable to the peculiar requirements of the
Navajos. The work in the laboratory is under the direction of John M. Cooper.
Sheep and wool men generally are watching the Navajo experiments be-
cause of the keen competition between various fibers to meet the newer demands
in the textile industry and because scientists are applying breeding principles
and newer methods for studying wool quality to produce a made-to-order type of
wool for a specific use.
For several centuries the Navajo Indians raised sheep descended from
strains brought into this country by the Spaniards- Those old Navajo sheep
have both their strong and weak points. They are so hardy that they run on
the open ranges winter and summer and live entirely off of native vegetation.
Their wool is a combination of an outer coat of coarse fibers 10 or 11 inches
long, with a finer undercoat similar to wild fur-bearing animals. Much of the
wool of that type has a low shrinkage and is easy to card, spin and weave by
hand - and makes a high-grade rug for which the Navajos are world-famous. Those
old Navajo sheep, however, produce a small crop of wool. Under the best condi-
tions, they produce only about four pounds per head as against an average of
eight pounds per head for all sheep in the United States. Their wool usually
commands a low price on the Eastern market. They are also poor meat animals.
At various times during the past 70 years on the Navajo Reservation,
rams of improved breeds such as the Rambouillet have been crossed with the old
Navajo sheep. The crosses have produced better uutton and higher grades of
commercial wool, but the wool for the most part makes a rougher, knottier and
generally poorer rug than the original Navajo wool.
The Navajos use only about one-fifth of their wool for weaving rugs
and sell the largest part of their crop as commercial wool. The part that the
Indian women card, spin and weave into rugs helps provide a small, but fairly
steady income throughout the year, after the money from the market wool is
gone- The Navajo rug income is estimated at $360,000 per year.
The Indian Office has called on the sheep and wool specialists of
the United States Department of Agriculture to help develop strains possessing
more suitable wool, a better mutton carcass and still retaining the hardy char-
acteristics of the old Navajo sheep.
Three years ago a flock of 800 Navajo ewes was obtained at the labor-
atory. From this foundation stock, by the use of proper breeding methods, it
is hoped to develop strains superior for these purposes to those now existing.
In this program there will be introduced, through hybridization, some of the
best characteristics of improved breeds such as the Rambouillet, Eomney, Cor-
riedale and Columbia, while retaining in the improved strains the hardiness
and other desirable features of the Navajo stock.
A.s the breeders produce new strains of sheep, the wool experts are
bringing into play the new equipment and methods they have developed to deter-
mine quickly the fineness and uniformity of a large number of samples of wool-
The wool in the old Navajo rugs and blankets is being studied to learn more
about the qualities of wools suitable for hand weaving. The wool from each
sheep is analyzed to give the breeders more definite information about the
quality of the various wools as a guide in breeding for most desirable wool
and also a wool which will command a higher price in the wool trade-
Navajo sheep are "improved" or "semi-improved" because the old ori-
ginal type is more or less diluted with importations. The original type which
was the result of generation after generation of the survival of a sheep that
could make its living on the semi-arid ranges of the reservation was a coarse-
wooled, light -shearing type with a "streamlined" build carrying little mutton.
Old Navajo sheep possess extreme hardihood, are good mothers and their wool is
suited to the hand-carding, spinning and weaving process of home rug and blan-
ket manufacture .
Because of the relatively low return in wool and mutton, efforts were
started many years ago to improve the production of Navajo sheep by introducing
rams from improved, higher -producing types, but the attempt failed because fa-
cilities were not then available for a thorough analysis of the situation and
no accurate knowledge was obtained regarding the type of sheep needed.
Now at the Navajo sheep laboratory men peer through microscopes while
various types of sheep gambol over the 18,000 acres set aside for experimental
range. A Navajo woman sits at her loom in the laboratory, weaving into artis-
tic patterns new fibers that some day may revolutionize the great Navajo rug
industry and treble the tribal income from wool and mutton. And in Washington,
the cafeteria of the Interior Department is playing its own special part in
OLDEST AMERICAN -MADS BLANKET ON DISPLAY AT
STATS MUSEUM . UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
Probably the oldest American-made blanket in the world today, still
in one piece, stands in a glass frame in the State Museum at the University of
Arizona in Tucson.
Made 700 or 800 years ago by prehistoric Pueblo dwellers of Sycamore
Canyon in the northern part of Arizona, the blanket is not a thing of rare
beauty, but is considered excellent evidence of an advanced stage of craftsman-
ship among the prehistoric Indians.
The blanket is approximately five feet square. It is finely woven
of course cotton thread and was apparently sized with corn starch or diluted
pinon glue before a simple swastika design was painted on it with thin black
paint. The design is clear and well-defined.
It was found by C R. King of Clarkdale, Arizona, wrapped around a
skeleton in a cave house of the upper Verde Valley. Along with the burial of-
ferings - bows and arrows, baskets, bowls and a medicine box - it was brought
to the State Museum where it serves as an object of study for the arts and in-
dustries class in the Department of Anthropology and for exhibition.
Dr. E. W. Haury, head of that department, reports that only one other
such blanket is known to be in existence, still wrapped around a mummy in the
American Museum. Reprinted from The Southwest Tourist News .
THE BATTLE AGAINST TUBERCULOSIS GOES FORWARD
Health Workers Among Indians Meet At
Shawnee, Oklahoma, To Exchange New
Views And Information On The Progress
Of The Long Campaign .
By Dr. J. G. Townsend, Director of Health
meeting of in-service
for nurses and physi-
cians was held at Shaw-
nee, Oklahoma, on Feb-
ruary 6 , 7 and 8 , 1939 .
Dr. H. W. Hetherington
and Miss Fannie Eshle-
man of the Phipps In-
stitute in Philadelphia,
who conducted the insti-
of this institute was
to familiarize the doc-
tors and nurses with
the household and com-
munity phases of the
tuberculosis problem and with the methods advocated to control the disease.
The first day was devoted to lectures and discussions on the general
aspects of the tuberculosis program, presented by Dr. Hetherington, followed by
a discussion on nursing and health supervision of patients and contacts which
was presented by Miss Eshleman- Talks on the diagnosis and treatment of tuber-
culosis, as well as a discussion on health supervision of members of the house-
hold of tuberculous patients were given.
Discussions on the part which tuberculosis plays in a generalized
public health program, hospital technique, followed by a round table discussion
in the afternoon, was the program for the second day.
The last day was devoted to a talk by Mr. Lrndman, Superintendent of
the Five Civilized Tribes Agency, on the economic factors in the care of tuber-
culous patients and a question box was conducted by Dr. Townsend.
These institutes are productive of much good in unifying our methods
of approach and strengthening our lines of attack on this most important health
problem which confronts the Indian.
BARTER - TWENTIETH CENTURY VERSION - AT JEMEZ PUEBLO . NEW MEXICO
By Ten Broeck Williamson, Soil Conservation Service
Probably nowhere in the United
States is barter, once so common in this
country, more practiced than among the
Indians and Spanish-American villagers
of New Mexico .
It is not uncommon for a fam-
ily to secure all of its necessities
and most of its luxuries without a cent
of money actually changing hands. Among
these people a quarter of beef, a string
of chili, a sack of corn, or even a day's
labor, has a definite and recognized ex-
By far, the major volume of busi-
ness transacted by trading posts catering
to New Mexico Indians is on the barter ba-
sis- Typical is a recent exchange made by
Porcingula Gachupin, a Jemez Pueblo woman,
at a trading post in Jemez Pueblo.
To the post, on her head, Mrs.
Gachupin carried a half sack of wheat .
Finding that the wheat weighed thirty
pounds, the clerk offered Mrs. Gachupin
sixty cents in trade.
After looking longing-
ly at bolts of dress goods and
a brightly-colored shawl, Mrs.
Gachupin decided to accept in
exchange for the wheat, two
pounds of coffee at twenty-five
cent 8 per pound, and one pack-
age of macaroni at ten cents.
( Note : The photographs used in this article have been taken by the
author, Mr. Ten Broeck Williamson, and used through the courtesy of the Soil
INDIANS PAY INCOME TAXES TOO
Now that Income Tax day has come and gone, some comfort might be
found by harassed taxpayers in the fact that the first Americans are required,
just like other citizens, to pay for the upkeep of their government. The fol-
lowing circular, issued by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to all superin-
tendents last year, cites the law on the subject:
"Numerous inquiries have been received regarding the liability
of restricted Indians to Federal income tax.
"The Supreme Court of the United States in the case of the Super-
intendent of the Five Civilized Tribes v. Commissioner of Internal Rev-
enue (295 U. S. 418), held that the income of Indians is subject to
the Federal income tax \inless specifically exempted by treaty or act
of Congress .
"Unless, therefore, there is specific exemption either by treaty
or by act of Congress, the Indians should file returns as well as oth-
er citizens when their income is sufficient to bring them under the
terms of the Federal Income Tax Law."
All of which may be a shock to those many misinformed persons who
assume " the government supports the Indians ."
■"'"■■ ii "
CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS — INDIAN DIVISION
NOTES FROM WEEKLY PROGRESS REPORTS
Cold Weather At Consolidated
Chippewa ( Minnesota ) Taking the
unfavorable weather into consider-
ation, work has been mostly on a
normal progress basis. The coldest
morning experienced here this win-
ter occurred last week- Our most
accurate thermometer registered 46
degrees below zero . The crews were
held inside till after the noon
The Woodduck Truck Trail has
been progressing as usual. The Nett
River Bridge crew has been engaged
in hauling timber to the bridge.
This crew comprises about ten men*
The work of keeping the camp supply
of wood up to requirement.8 is a job
that requires steady application.
Leisure time activities are
confined mostly to ping pong and
cribbage • The radio fans comprise
a large portion of the enrollment
and the reading room always is well
filled with the listeners-in. Geo.
H. Thomson , Principal Foreman -
Timber Stand Improvement At
Great Lakes ( Wisconsin ) Timber
stand improvement has gone forth
with much enthusiasm among the boys
after instructions were given as to
the proper methods to be employed
in this phase of forestry work and
after being told of the importance
of this work in the development of
one of the natural resources of the
reservation, every boy realizes
that he has an interest in this
tract of land which is tribal and
therefore, makes a greater effort
to do his part.
Approximately twenty acres
have been treated during the past
week, pruning an average of 250
trees to the acre. All slash and
limbs were well lopped. The prog-
ress of the pruning was retarded
due to inclement weather prevailing
during the past three days. William
J. Graveen , Leader ■
Spring Weather At Yakima (Wash-
ington) Typical spring weather was
experienced here at Fort Simcoe
throughout the week. On truck trail
maintenance, crews have been clean-
ing culverts and roadside drainage
ditches, removing rocks and doing
general maintenance work.
Crews working on the "fill" on
the Fort Simcoe Bast Truck Trail,
are doing very commendable work-
The "fill" is rapidly nearing com-
pletion and will be of considerable
value in preventing washouts which
have occurred during the last sev-
eral years, resulting from spring
rains and melting snow higher in
the mountains •
A small crew, with the aid of
two caterpillars, has been leveling
the old orchard site. This piece
of land will add much to the land-
scaping value of the camp- G. W.
St . Mitchel , Assistant .
Fence Building At Grand Bonde -
Siletz ( Oregon ) This week has been
the best week we have had for work-
ing as far as weather is concerned.
116 rods of fence were completed and
85 rods of post were set. Two men
have been cutting posts with ten men
hauling and 2 men have been cutting
brush on the fence line. The other
10 men have been taking up the old
fence and putting in new.
The post hole digging has been
a little slow as we have a lot of
roots and rocks to content with*
Boy Langley , Assistant Leader .
Channel Construction At Shaw-
nee ( Oklahoma ) Working under adverse
conditions this week, we made consid-
erable progress, completing about 80
feet of channel construction and com-
pleting 3 outlet structures. We also
dug pits and moved material for other
We attended our weekly education-
al and recreational meeting this week
and discussed safety, safety training
and farming. William Falls .
The weather has been fine this
week enabling the trucks to transport
rock, sand and cement to the various
projects in the field. The shop crew
has been busy making repairs on cars
and trucks •
The terracing crew has had a
very good week completing a total of
2.35 miles on two farms The bull-
dozer crew completed 486 feet of chan-
nel construction in addition to making
several fills- Curtis Rice , Assistant
Report From Choctaw ( Mississippi )
The Indians have been greatly benefited
by the CCC-ID work which they deeply
appreciate. In the past there has been
a considerable amount of crop and pas-
ture land unprotected, which has been
destroyed by public Btock because there
were no fences.
The crop land of the Choctaw In-
dians is in need of terraces very bad-
ly. About 80 per cent has been com-
pleted of the number of miles project-
A Varied Program At Red Lake
( Minnesota ) A crew of three are cut-
ting wood for the camp. It is hard to
get into the woods where good fire-
wood can be obtained because of the
deep snow along the roadside and in
the woods .
A crew of three were out do-
ing location work on the Manomin
Creek foot trail during the past
week. The last day of this week
the whole camp crew was sent out on
this project to cut and burn brush.
The crew walked from the camp to the
job as the road is not passable for
the truck, due to the heavy snows.
Pr ogre's a was very good on cut-
ting telephone poles • We have a
team of horses skidding the poles to
the landing where they will be load-
ed on the trucks and hauled to the
agency. George Kelly •
Classes At Rocky Boy's ( Montana )
Cool even weather this week kept our
men working without loss of time.
Classes in arithmetic and grammar
are very successful this winter. We
are having good attendance and the
interest of the classes seems to be
A crew of enrollees under the
leadership of the telephone lineman
is busy repairing the telephone
lines and clearing brush out of the
right-of-way. Frit.jof A. Hutlin ,
Camp Assistant •
Rigfat-Of-Way Clearance At Kesh -
ena ( Wisconsin ) Cur work has been
devoted chiefly to right-of-way
clearance - There are a number of
large trees in the path of the right-
of-way. These have to be removed.
They are doing a fine job of it. All
the dead timber which can be used
for cord wood is being piled up
longaide the road, the rest of the
brush and old stumps are being
burned. This trail will make an
excellent fire break. James Brisk .
Various Activities At Fort
Berthold ( North Dakota ) One of the
trailer houses used at the Dam No.
26 in the vicinity of Sanish, has
returned. The tools, kitchen uten-
sils, cots, etc., in the house were
checked and stored away in the ware-
house. This concludes the return
of tools and equipment from the dam.
The sign painter made several
signs for the Little Missouri Vehi-
cle hridge constructed by the CCC-ID.
These signs are necessary to warn
the traveling public not to ford the
river within thirty-five feet west
of the bridge. The cable anchors
are located in this area, and, per-
haps will be under the water line.
The blacksmith sharpened ten
axes, three crowbars, three steel
wedges and repaired the handles of
some of the axes. He made six iron
tamping bars, six eye bolts for
bridges, hooks for a truck steplad-
der and did other repair work. Chas .
Huber , Sr . Warehouseman .
Report From Standing Eock ( North
Dakota ) I have had the men digging
all week- The ground is frozen so
hard that progress is slow. We are
changing the channel in the creek
where the bridge is to be built- We
had a safety meeting on the storage
and handling of inflammable liquids.
The boys realize that the safety
lessons are part of the work and
take an interest in them. J. C.
Truck Trail Construction At Mes -
calerp ( Hew Mexico ) The truck trail
in Tularosa Canyon is being brought
to a slow but sure finish. The mater-
ial being used now is much better than
it has been. Before this time we have
had to content with mud and snow and
naturally the construction work has
been hindered to a great extent .
The maintenance crew is working
up Tularosa Canyon, cutting and fill-
ing in the ruts that came with the
mud and snow .
The telephone crew has been
busy maintaining lines in Mud Canyon
this past week. The line was broken
due to heavy winds and snow-
Our enrollees enjoyed another
very interesting field day this week.
The topic generally discussed was
greater cooperation among the enroll-
ees themselves as well as with the
employees with whom they work- James
CCC-ID Enrollees At Chin Lee
" WITH HER FRONTIERS GONE AMERICA'S GREATEST CHALLENGE 13 THE NEED FOR
CONSERVATION ." SAID HAROLD L- ICKES . SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
Commenting on the sixth anniversary of the Civilian Conservation
Corps, Mr. Ickes said: "Conservation of natural resources being one of the
most vital problems of this nation, it is a pleasure to note the great prog-
ress that has been made by the CCC, with whose work I have been intimately
associated for six years. This fine organization has not only conserved
land and other physical assets, but has accomplished revolutionary results
in rebuilding men and morale. And nowhere has this accomplishment been
more notable than among our once neglected Indians, for whom the CCC has
provided opportunity for rebuilding the once vast Indian estate."
GENERAL PUBLIC INVITED TO " OPEN HOUSE " CELEBRATIONS
IN TOE INDIVIDUAL CCC CAMPS
April 5 is the sixth anniversary of the CCC. In recent years the Corps birth-
day has been the occasion for the holding of "open house" celebrationis in the
individual CCC camps to which the general public has been invited. Director
Robert Fechner of the CCC has directed that the Corps conduct these "open house"
celebrations again this yeax . He says, "They have served a very useful purpose.
They have aided in the development and maintenance of good relations between the
CCC camps and the surrounding communities. They have also furnished the public
with an opportunity to inspect the CCC camps and to look over the work the en-
rollees are doing."
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION LIBRARIES
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